Deriving its name from the Dakota words for "water good", Lake Minnewashta Regional Park is a good water destination for a day at the beach, canoeing or fishing. This 340 acre park, which is managed by Carver County, has family-friendly amenities that include the beach, a fun playground, biking and hiking trails, a dog park and space to picnic. This four-season park offers beautiful spring and fall views and winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.
In December of 2019, Carver County eliminated vehicle and dog park permits at this park.
10 Ideas for Family Fun at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park
- Swim at the Beach. Weather permitting, lifeguards are on duty every day in the beach season from noon to 6pm.
- Go Fishing. Note that this lake has catch-and-release laws for bass fishing. The lake has Walleye, Northern Pike, Black Crappie and Bluegil. For more information, see the DNR's West Metro Fish Catch Rates. There is a fishing pier on the west side of the beach.
- Try Pond Dipping. Any lake with a sturdy pier can by a chance for some impromptu science. Dip a cup into the water and see what life you find. In you want to plan to go more in depth, you can find directions and equipment suggestions here.
- Pack a Picnic - You can find tables and grills near the beach.
- Rent a canoe, stand up paddle board or kayak. Prices are quite reasonable. Find 2020 summer rental prices here. If you have your own canoe and plan to visit often, you may want to look into renting storage.
- Play on the playground. This park has a lovely sand-floor playground with landscaped levels that they call the "Creative Playground". This apt name as the slides, ladders and bridges makes it feel like a for with a secret passage slide that leads off the playground. You can also bring your frisbees, balls or other yard equipment and take advantage of the nearby open play space.
- Bring Your Family Dog - The off-leash dog area's permit requirement was dropped in December of 2019 along with parking permits. However, the area was also almost closed due to unsanitary conditions. Thanks to the efforts of the community the dog area was cleaned up and will remain open. Remember to bring bags to clean up after your dog. Find more information and rules here.
- Play some sand volleyball. Tuck your volleyball in your trunk before heading out and you can get a family game going.
- Bike or Hike the trails. The park has hard surface bike trails and turf trails for walking and skiing. In the winter you can rent skis snowshoes. The walking trail is five miles of lakeside, woodsy and prairie land.
- Trade out your books. I always get excited when I find a new little free library and a little sad when I realize I have nothing to trade. Solve this problem by tucking some books you wouldn't mind parting with into your vehicle so you are always ready for a trade. This little library is located near the beach and, even if you forget to bring a book to trade, you are welcome to borrow a beach book for the day.